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Chapter 7: Green Music
Link slowly walked down the hall to Darunia's chamber. Torches flickered ahead, making the mood slightly spooky. Link swallowed hard. He had imagined fighting deadly monsters, but he hadn't counted on dealing with grouchy rulers.
At last, the all too short walk to Darunia's chamber was done, and Link gazed at the head Goron. He was the largest Goron Link had seen so far. His spiky hair stood up from his head and emphasized the rocklike appearance about him. He also looked as if he hadn't slept well in a while.
"You're the King's messenger?" Darunia asked incredulously.
Link tried to shake off that remark. "I have come to ask a favor of you," he said.
Darunia's face grew angry. "My people are going through a time of famine and you come asking for favors?" He advanced on Link.
Navi huddled behind him. Link tried to back away. "I mean...uh...perhaps I can offer my services-"
"What kind of game is this?" Darunia asked.
"It's not a game," Link said, trying to save himself. He didn't know what to do. He couldn't fight the leader of the Gorons!
Darunia picked Link up and held him close to his face. It was then that the anger was replaced with sadness. "Listen, kid, I don't know how you learned the Royal Song, but you're playing with things larger than you can imagine."
"I'm not playing," said Link, making one last stand. "I'm seriously offering-"
He stopped when the anger came back to Darunia's face. "Aren't you listening to me?"
"Yes, I am, but-"
"But?" Darunia shook Link in his hands and threw him into the exit.
Link obeyed. He ran out the door with Navi following close behind. The door slammed shut behind him. Link stopped to catch his breath.
"Bad luck, eh?" the Goron guarding the door said.
Link nodded. He ran his hand along his forehead and was found sweat there.
"Well," the Goron said, "don't take it personally. He's usually very jovial towards visitors. However, he's been very disagreeable ever since the famine started. I think this whole problem is weighing very heavily on him." His stomach growled. "It's weighing heavily on all of us."
Link turned to leave when a thought struck his mind. "He mentioned Ganondorf," he said. "Who's that?"
"Another visitor," the Goron said. "He came twice, once before the boulder fell and once after. Big Brother got very angry both times and has issued an order to arrest him if he came again." The Goron leaned closer and whispered. "The rumor is that Ganondorf wanted our Ruby and threatened to drop the boulder if Big Brother refused. However, that's just the rumor."
"Thanks," Link said, and left.
"Ganondorf beat us here!" Navi said when they were out of hearing range.
"Indeed," Link said. If he did this to the Gorons, what has happened to the Zora?
His thoughts were interrupted by Navi. "So," she said, "what are we going to do?"
Link didn't have an answer.
Not knowing what else to do, they started exploring the city. They saw many interesting things, including a huge Goron who made swords, but Link wasn't paying much attention. His mind was distracted by the problem at hand.
Navi noticed Link's inattentiveness. "Cheer up, Link!" she tried. "We'll think of something."
Link sighed and shook his head. "He's not usually so cross. If only he wasn't in such a bad mood."
"Say, that's it! We can cheer him up."
Link laughed. "And how would we do that?"
"Throw him a surprise party?"
Link shook his head and laughed some more. "I don't think so." He sighed and stopped laughing. "However, that isn't such a bad idea. If we could think of a way to cheer him up, then he'd...what's that?"
"What's what?" Navi asked.
"That music," Link said.
Navi was quiet. Music could be heard faintly. It was very up-tempo and high-spirited. It also sounded familiar to Link.
"Where's that coming from?" Navi asked.
"Let's find out," Link replied.
They followed the music to a tunnel leading off from the city. Large boulders blocked the path, but they didn't block the music coming from the other side. A Goron was sitting next to the rocks and happily humming along.
"Doesn't that music sound wonderful?" the Goron said. "It almost makes me forget how hungry I am."
An idea struck Link. "That's it, Navi! We'll cheer up Darunia with a song."
"Good idea," the Goron said. "He's been grouchy lately."
"Navi?" Link called. "Navi, where are you?"
"Over here," she replied from behind the boulders. "Link, it's the Lost Woods over here."
"Perfect," Link said. The Lost Woods were connected to Kokiri Forest. He had an easy route home.
Well, almost easy. "Navi," Link said, "I can't get over these rocks."
"Don't worry," the Goron said cheerfully. "I'll help you over."
The Goron walked up to Link and grabbed his legs. Then he grunted and threw Link into the air. He landed on top of a boulder and scrambled the rest of the way over onto the other side.
"Thanks," Link shouted.
"No problem," the Goron replied. "I'm sorry I was so weak."
Link turned to Navi. "That was weak?" he said. "I'd hate to see them when they're strong."
"I bet so would Ganondorf."
The two walked down the short passage and entered Lost Woods. He looked around the clearing. Tree branches stretched overhead, blocking out the sun. Birds chirped from unseen places, and other forest animals could also be heard. There was also the music in the air. Strange, he hadn't ever heard music here before.
Three paths led away from the clearing. That was the problem with Lost Woods. It was easy to become lost here. Lost Woods was simply a series of clearings connected by paths. If you stepped off the path, you would be transported out of the forest. Also, many paths led nowhere and would end up also spitting you out. The trees grew too thickly to see if the way ahead was safe or not, so many safe paths were discovered simply through trial and error.
Link and Saria had played a lot in Lost Woods, when Mido wasn't bothering them, so he knew where a lot of the right paths were. However, right now he had no idea where he was or which way to turn.
Navi started drifting away. "Stay close," Link ordered.
"Indeed, you two should not separate from each other," a voice said. "You will perform great feats together."
"Who was that?" Link asked. He turned and saw an owl sitting in a tree. "Was that you?"
"Indeed, it was," the owl said.
Link waited for it to say something more, but the bird just sat and stared at him. "Uh, I am Link. Who are you?" Link asked, figuring it was the best place to start.
"I am a good spirit who has taken interest in your quest," the owl replied. "Indeed, saving Hyrule is a task of legendary proportion."
"Wait," said Link, "how did you know what we're doing?"
The owl laughed. "I know many things."
"Then, would you know where that music is coming from?"
"Ah, yes, such wonderful music." The owl cocked his head and listened. "Listen closely. Isn't it invigorating?"
Link obeyed and listened. After a while, he noticed that the music was coming from a certain direction. In fact, he was now quite certain which way to go.
"Thank you very much," Link said. "You knew exactly what I needed to know."
"All gratitude will be owed to you if you succeed," the owl said. Before Link could say anything, the bird spread his wings. "Perhaps we'll meet again sometime," he said, and flew off.
"Interesting character," Link said.
"Very helpful," Navi added. "Much better than Vindari."
"Don't bring that up," Link said. "We have more important things to worry about. Let's find out where that music is coming from."
Link and Navi went off into the forest, following the music. As they walked, Link felt the forest around him. He had lived in the forest all his life. He knew where everything was and how it all fit together. And, for some reason, the forest seemed more alive today.
He stopped when he heard a voice in the clearing ahead of him. He cautiously peeked ahead and caught his breath. It was Mido! He was walking along in the woods, his face buried in a piece of paper.
"Mido?" Link said, stepping out into the clearing.
Mido gave a yell. The paper was flung out of his hands and landed at Link's feet. He picked it up.
"Link!" Mido exclaimed. The surprise flew from his face and was replaced by his usual sly expression. "I knew you were hiding in Lost Woods. Afraid to face everybody after killing the Great Deku Tree?"
Link ignored that comment and looked at the paper. It was a note from Saria, telling him to come see her. It also listed directions.
"What were you doing with this?" Link asked, holding up the note.
"Oh, that," Mido said. "Well, Saria disappeared this morning, and when I went to see what you had to do with it, I found this note on your table."
"And what were you doing with it?"
"I was going to find her," Mido said. "She'd want me more than you."
"Mido, you insensitive clout," Link said, shaking his head. "When will you learn to keep your nose out of other people's business?"
He turned to continue into the forest. Mido jumped him. The two boys wrestled on the ground, Navi shouting encouragement to Link. However, Mido was able to pin Link to the ground.
"And when will you learn that I'm stronger than you?" Mido said. Link struggled, but Mido had him pinned firm. Navi fluttered around Mido's head, but he swatted her away.
"Do you think that some fancy weapons make you so special?" Mido asked. In one swift movement, he grabbed Saria's note with one hand, Link's sword with the other, and kicked Link away. He ran off laughing into the next clearing.
Link growled and ran after him. He tore through the next clearing and followed the closest path. "Link!" Navi called, but it was too late. Link plunged into blackness. He felt the familiar disorientation, and seconds later he was in Kokiri Forest.
Navi came out behind him. She found Link angrily kicking the wall. "I'm sorry, Link," she said.
Link stopped. "I hate him," he said. "All my life, he's been teasing me and beating me up. Sometimes, he outdoes himself."
"Just remember," Navi said. "Mido's behavior is probably caused by a lack of self-confidence. He feels a need to bring others down in order to feel good about himself."
Link raised an eyebrow in confusion. "Oh, forget it," Navi said. "It's over your head."
"Whatever," Link said. "Now, if my suspicions are right, following the music will lead us to Mido."
"And if it doesn't?"
"We'll follow it anyway. It's the only thing we can do."
So they followed the music. Link and Navi walked in silence. This was partly because the music needed to be heard, and partly because their thoughts were elsewhere. Once, Link thought he saw eyes watching him, but he wasn't sure.
After a while, another sound pierced through the air. It sounded like someone was screaming. "Is that Mido?" Link asked. He and Navi wasted no time in running to find out.
They ran through a door and saw a horrific sight. Mido was pinned against the wall by a slobbering beast. "A Wolfos," Navi said. It had glowing red eyes and long gray fur. It took a few swipes at Mido with its long claws, while Mido held up Link's sword in futile defense. He was also bawling his head off.
He saw Link and latched his eyes onto him. "Help me!" he cried.
Link felt tempted to just sit back and watch. It was nice to see Mido afraid for a change. Link could relish this.
However, Navi whispered something in his ear. "Don't stoop down to his level, Link."
Also, Navi's comment brought back to mind something Saria had said. "What you give is what you receive." While Mido had given him a lot of crap and deserved to receive it in return, Link would want someone to help him if he were in danger.
Link sighed. He'd better appreciate this.
"Give me my sword," Link called.
"Are-are you crazy?" Mido called back. "I n-need to d-defend myself."
The sword was shaking wildly in his hands. He'll never hold on to it. "I'm better with it than you are," Link shouted.
That comment roused Mido's anger. "Are not!" he protested. He gathered the courage to attempt a strike, but the Wolfos knocked it from his hands. This set Mido into new levels of screaming.
Dang you, Mido. Link reached into his pouch and pulled out his Slingshot. He wasn't sure if the Deku Seeds would stop that thing, but they'd help.
The Wolfos was about the swiftly take Mido's head off when it felt something hit it's back. It turned to see Link loading another Deku Seed. It roared and advanced on him.
"I don't think that hurt it much," Navi said.
Link jumped aside as the Wolfos swung at him. He put his Slingshot away. "Where's my sword?" he asked.
He turned and saw Mido running towards it. Oh no, you don't. He took off and reached it just as Mido did. They both grabbed the handle.
"Let go!" Mido yelled. He started hitting Link with his other hand. Knowing that ordering Mido around would never work, Link tried a different approach.
"Okay," Link said. "Take it." He let go of the sword and started searching through his Pouch.
Mido looked at the blade in his hand. Then a thought hit him. "Is this some kind of trick?"
Link took out a Deku Nut. "I'd rather have this."
"It is not nothing. Give me it."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah." Mido put down the sword. "I want whatever you have."
"Alright." Link gave Mido the Nut and picked up his sword. "If you insist."
Mido held the Deku Nut and watched the quickly approaching Wolfos. "What does this do anyway?" he asked. Before Link could tell him, he threw it at the Wolfos. The creature simply swatted it away and kept charging.
Mido turned on Link. "What was that supposed to do?"
"You were supposed to break it open," Link said. Then, Mido was forgotten and his attention was engaged by the Wolfos. Link blocked its attack with his shield, then swung in with his sword. The Wolfos held up a paw and blocked Link's attack.
"What do I do?" Link asked Navi as the Wolfos howled and struck again.
"Its armored paws are its defense," Navi said. "You need to get past them."
Link tried a couple more strikes, but the Wolfos was good. It kept bearing down on him, backing him against the wall. Link jumped aside and swung wildly. The Wolfos roared as its arm was slashed.
"Alright," Link said.
The Wolfos examined its wound and glared at Link. Then it leapt back into fierce battle. Link reacted quickly to each attack, but wasn't given time of his own to attack. One particularly vicious blow knocked Link's sword from his hand. It fell close behind him, but he couldn't turn around to get it without leaving himself open to attack.
"How am I supposed to break this open?" Mido asked in frustration. He had tried pulling it apart, but to no avail. He stomped on it, but nothing happened. Finally, he picked it up and threw it against the ground.
There was a blinding flash. The Wolfos turned to see what had happened. Link used this opportunity to grab his sword and plunge it into the Wolfos's back. It howled in pain and sank to the ground. It burned away, and only Link's sword was left.
He picked up his sword and looked over where Mido was. With amusement, he saw that Mido had stunned himself with the Nut. His body was frozen and surrounded by a purple hue. Link wondered how long he would stay like that.
Unfortunately, it wasn't long. The purple wore off and Mido shook his head, coming back to his senses. He seemed relieved not to hear any slobbering animals trying to get him. He looked around and spotted Link. "Did I defeat it?" he asked.
Link shook his head in disgust. Still, he was forced to realize that Mido's distraction had helped Link immensely. However, he wasn't going to say that to someone like Mido, who would undoubtedly use it to annoy Link. Besides, Mido didn't need a bigger ego. "It's gone" was all Link would concede to say.
The crafty expression came back to Mido. "You know," he said, "I think you tricked me into taking that stupid nut."
Link wasn't going to put up with this. Mido would only get in the way if he stayed with Link. It was time to get him out now.
Link looked Mido straight in the eye. "I saw you crying like a baby back there, and if you don't want me telling anyone about it, you'd better leave."
Mido walked up to Link and stood right in front of him. "Are you threatening me?"
"I don't have to tell," Link said. "It's your choice."
Mido glared at Link and he glared back. There were a few tense seconds, when the forest was hushed. Navi floated silently nearby, afraid to say anything.
Finally, Mido shook his head and backed off. "I'll get you one of these days," he threatened. "You can count on it."
"Go on," Link said. Mido gave him one last glare and slowly walked away.
"Nice job, Link," Navi said when Mido was gone.
"Thanks," Link said. He looked around at his surroundings. This place was completely new to him. He had never been here before. "What is this place?"
"It's the Sacred Forest Meadow," Navi said. "I've heard the Great Deku Tree talk of it only a few times. From what I can read, this is a sacred part of the forest where the Forest Temple resides."
"What's the Forest Temple?"
"I don't know," Navi said. "We'd have to get closer to it for me to see."
"Then let's go."
They walked through the gate that the Wolfos had been guarding and made their way through the Sacred Forest Meadow. Inside was a huge maze of overgrown bushes. Along the way, they ran into numerous Deku Scrubs, which Link had to dispatch. Navi talked about what she read in the magic as they went along.
"An ancient race of people used to worship here," she said. "This whole meadow used to be clear, and they all would gather here to perform religious ceremonies. One day, a great evil came and attacked them. They drove the forest people away from their temple. They built this maze and magicked the Lost Woods to make them misleading in order to keep the forest people from returning here. The forest people were able to drive out the evil, but they never found the way back here."
"So how does Saria know where this is?" Link asked.
"A good question," Navi replied.
Finally, they exited the maze and found themselves at the base of a long stairway. Having no other choice, they climbed up. As they climbed, Link noticed that the music they had heard the whole time seemed to be getting louder. In fact, Link thought he could hear it clearly coming from the area ahead. No sooner had Link had this thought then he reached the top of the stairs and looked out into the clearing.
Wooden walls rose on all four sides. High up, Link would see the entrance to the Forest Temple. Stairs used to lead up there, but they did not exist anymore. In the center of the clearing was a small stone platform with a curious symbol on it. However, the thing that most caught his attention was Saria sitting on a tree stump across the clearing.
Link ran over and saw that she was playing her ocarina. Her eyes were closed and she swayed in time to the music. Link realized with a start that the music coming from her ocarina was the music that was filling the forest.
Link stopped in front of her. Some unknown cue came to Saria and she stopped playing and opened her eyes. "I could feel you coming," she said.
In spite of himself, his jaw dropped open. "How did you do that?"
"It's strange," Saria said. "Ever since the Great Deku Tree died, I've had the weirdest feeling. I've felt more in tune with the forest, more a part of it."
Saria leaned forward with emotion in her eyes. "I had the most powerful dream last night. It told me many things, and one of them was how to come here. And so, this morning I left a note for you and came to this place."
"What about the Wolfos?" Link asked. "How did you get past him?"
A confused look came to Saria's face. "The Wolfos? I just walked right past him. He gave one look at me and then focused his attention elsewhere."
"Weird," Link said. Navi held a revered silence.
"So," Saria said, "enough about me. How about you?"
Link proceeded to tell Saria all about his adventures. Saria listened in rapture. When Link ended with meeting Saria here, she applauded him. "Well done," she said.
"You mean it?" Link asked.
"Of course," Saria said. "I couldn't have made up a better tale myself."
"I haven't met any other big horrible monsters yet," he said, remembering Saria's encounter in the Great Deku Tree.
Saria grimaced. "That probably won't last very long." She quickly changed the subject. "So, you want to learn my song."
"It would be very helpful."
Saria smiled. "Listen carefully, then." She brought the ocarina up to her lips and played. Link brought out his ocarina and followed along. Soon, his notes were combining into the music that filled the forest.
Eventually, they stopped. "Thank you," Link said, and put his ocarina away. "If that doesn't cheer up Darunia, nothing will."
They talked for a long while about other things. Eventually, the setting sun reminded Link of how late it was. "I should probably go soon," he said.
"I suppose," Saria said. "It was fun talking with you again."
Link smiled. "We should do it again sometime."
There was an uncomfortable silence. "So, do you want to come back with me?"
Saria thought a moment and shook her head. "Actually," she said, "I was thinking about sleeping out here tonight."
"Oh," Link said. "Well, then, I guess I'd best leave you to yourself. See you later."
"Soon, Link," Saria said. They waved at each other and Link departed.
A silent thought went through Saria's mind, along with several images from her dream. Be brave, Link, she thought, and resumed playing her ocarina. Music again filled the woods.
It soon became dark. Link and Navi agreed that there was no way they'd find the way back to Goron City in the night, so they returned to Link's house. All the other children were asleep when they arrived. Link didn't mind. He didn't really feel like explaining to everyone where he had been. Instead, he climbed into his nice familiar old bed and fell fast asleep.
The owl, resting lightly on a branch, watched Link enter his old home. "He's going to win, you know," he said. "The gods are on his side."
"Damn the gods," Vindari said from behind him. "And damn you for helping the boy."
"He has a righteous heart," the owl said. "Righteousness always prevails."
"You make me sick," Vindari said vilely, and jumped on the owl, wrapping his thin fingers around his throat. The bird struggled, but he could not escape. A couple minutes later, Vindari let a limp, dead body drop to the ground. "No more troubles from you," he said, and crept off into the dark night.
|Chapter 6<--||Back to Legend of Zelda||-->Chapter 8|
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Link and all related characters are the property of someone else. This is a work of fanfiction and no copyright infringement was intended. Vindari is my own creation.